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CBS LimeWire Lawsuit Takes Nasty Turn: BitTorrent Clients Under Attack

Posted by: , 14:32 AEDT, Sat November 17, 2012

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Alki's lawsuit against CBS/CNET takes a nasty turn, as Alki and his coalition of musicians file an injunction to force Download.com to remove BitTorrent client downloads
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David Alki and company's lawsuit against CBS is now dragging BitTorrent into the fight, as an injunction has been filed against the CBS owned CNET Download.com to ban the distribution of BitTorrent clients, including uTorrent.

Alki and a coalition of musicians launched the lawsuit against CBS's Download.com, as the website had distributed the LimeWire music sharing software before a court ruled that LimeWire was indeed instrumental in allowing people to infringe copyright. There was a hint of revenge for Alki, as CBS had earlier joined in legal action against Alki's own FilmOn service, also on copyright grounds.

But while many supported Alki in his crusade to point out the hypocrisy of major right holders when it comes to profiting from copyright infringement, the plaintiff's latest attack on all BitTorrent clients currently hosted by Download.com may just make one feel that a line has been crossed. In the latest filings, Alki and Co says BitTorrent is a "clear and present danger to copyrighted works", and accuses Download.com of helping users to "find copyrighted files to download" by providing instructions on how to use BitTorrent clients, including uTorrent.

BitTorrent is a file transfer protocol, no different to say HTTP for the web. Like any file transfer protocol, there are legal uses and illegal uses. A significant portion of HTTP traffic is also related to piracy, and at the same time, a significant portion of BitTorrent is also used for legal purposes.

The filing also goes on to suggest that by writing a news article on the legal uses of BitTorrent, that this was a way for CNET to "dress up the marketing of bittorrent applications" to induce more downloads of BitTorrent clients.

The court is yet to rule on this latest filing.

Update: Mr David has emailed me a link to a TorrentFreak article in which he explains his point of view on the lawsuit in general, and the latest filings. It's well worth a read.


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